This is what's for dinner tonight!
I love quesadillas for 2 reasons: they are always delicious, no matter what you fill them with, and they are so easy to make. Like a Mexican grilled cheese sandwich. So when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to try it.
As I've said before, a lot of authentic Mexican food items are naturally gluten free. Tortillas, however, can be a bit tricky. Yes, there are plenty of corn tortillas out there, and you'd think they were safe because they were made with corn. And yet...
Just because they are made with corn doesn't necessarily mean they aren't also made with wheat flour. Or made in a factory where they'd be cross-contaminated. This is where it pays to know which brands are safe, and which are not. One way to be sure is to purchase the Essential Gluten-Free Grocery Guide from Triumph Dining. This book will give you a list of products that you can count on to be safe. It has been a real blessing to me and my family, and it will be for yours as well!
Also, we live in an area that has a high Latino population. Because of that, we have tortilla factories within 100 miles of us, and they make the authentic tortillas that are 100% corn flour, water and salt. All they make are these tortillas, so there's no risk of cross-contamination. And boy, are they good! If you can get this kind of tortilla where you live, be thankful, and buy them!
Let's make dinner, and then we can chit chat a bit more...
SPH Gluten Free Chorizo Quesadillas
inspired by a recipe in Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade magazine
January/February 2011 issue
8 corn tortillas (mine were in the 6-8" range)
1 9-oz. package Sausages by Amylu Chicken Chorizo, diced (which is gluten free)
1/2 cup long grain white rice
1 cup chicken stock (I use Pacific brand Organic Free Range Chicken Broth)
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic (I use the kind from a jar)
1 tablespoon dried parsley OR fresh cilantro (I used parsley because I don't like cilantro)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed, OR canned sweet corn (I used canned)
Shredded Mexican cheese blend
fresh jalapeno slices
jarred roasted red bell peppers
Put rice, stock, onion, garlic, parsley and salt into a small pot. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and allow to bubble for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, and let sit for about 5 more minutes.
While rice is cooking, warm a large (preferably non-stick) skillet over medium-high heat, then drizzle in some olive oil. Add diced sausage, and brown, stirring occasionally. Drain on paper towels. Drain excess oil from skillet and wipe clean. If you don't have non-stick (and I don't), you may want to have another skillet handy in case the chorizo sticks at all. My apologies to the dishwasher.
When rice is cooked, stir in sausage, sweet corn, and any extras you may desire. Warm the skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of one tortilla. Set it butter side down in the skillet, just like you'd do for a grilled cheese. Place 1/4 of the rice mixture on top of the tortilla, and sprinkle with some cheese. Top with another buttered tortilla (this one has butter side up facing you). Press with a spatula while it is heating through for a few minutes, then turn. They really only take a few minutes per side, so keep an eye on them. Burnt is not delicious. Repeat with all the remaining tortillas. Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter, and serve warm with lime wedges (the squeeze of lime really puts these over the top!). You can also serve with additonal salsa and sour cream if desired.
Ok, so now the chit chat. The original recipe used much larger flour tortillas, so switching to gluten free corn tortillas was Tweak #1. Also, because I used smaller tortillas, the original made way too much rice mixture, with too little sausage for our tastes. It is much better with the onion, garlic, and salt, which were not in the original, either. Because we had extra rice, we ate it reheated for lunch the next day, and it is FANTASTIC by itself! If you don't have chorizo in the house, use some leftover cooked chicken that has been diced.
And as for the corn, you can use some from a bag of frozen, like the original did, or part of a can, like I did. This is what I had on hand. If you use canned, drain the leftovers, and make corn muffins or corn bread with it. Add it to a soup or a stew. Just use it within a few days so it doesn't get spoiled.
Start your weekend off right with some delicious quesadillas, and enjoy!